Airstrike on children's bus in Yemen kills at least 20

Lamar Ellis
August 10, 2018

The health ministry run by the rebel Houthi movement said 43 people were killed.

The school bus that was bombed was reportedly carrying children back to religious education classes after a picnic near the city of Dahyan, according to reports from Save the Children and Al Jazeera. They added that this remote area of Saada Province has few hospitals, and the Saudi naval blockade has left them with no medicine, so the death toll is nearly certain to rise.

Most of the children were inside the bus when the airstrike hit, according to a medic, Yahya al-Hadi.

"The victims were the children in the bus, passersby and merchants in the market, and some injuries are serious, so the number of deaths may increase".

But on social media, critics noted that other coverage of the air strike in the USA and Britain-which also supports the coalition-failed to acknowledge the countries' involvement in the war.

The previous evening, Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels, but shrapnel killed a Yemeni man and wounded 11 others in the southern Saudi city of Jazan.

Coalition spokesman Maliki confirmed the strike had hit a bus, telling AFP "the elements inside the bus were Huthi combatants".

It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields and said the strikes were carried out in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law. It went on to accuse Houthi rebels of using children as human shields.

"Under worldwide humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", the ICRC said. "US mid air support", Murphy said in a tweet.

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"We are calling the Saudi led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident", she said. "We take all credible accounts of civilian causalities very seriously".

Later, air strikes were reported in the rebel-held Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The group's head of delegation in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, tweeted "scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10".

It was unclear how many air strikes were carried out in the area.

Col. Al-Maliki affirmed that the leaders and militants responsible for launching ballistic missiles and targeting civilians would be held accountable under the Coalition's efforts to prevent terrorist elements from compromising regional and global security.

The war in Yemen has left more than 10,000 dead since 2015, sparking what the United Nations says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemeni tribal leaders told the AP the Saudi-led US -backed coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels was behind the airstrike. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

The Houthis have launched a series of missile strikes on the kingdom, including Riyadh, over the past year.

The assault was the latest in a string of airstrikes to target civilians by an American-backed regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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